Last Senate Meeting of the Year Tries to Address Vacant EVPSA

5
2061

Minh Hua
Campus Beat Reporter

The Associated Students Senate’s met on Wednesday for its last meeting of the school year to address the vacant External Vice president of Statewide Affairs position, in addition to the official appointment of the first and second pro tempore.

The EVPSA position is currently vacant due to Elections Board’s retroactive disqualification of EVPSA-Elect Mayela Morales. Thus, a new EVPSA will not be elected until the special election held in fall 2018.

During public forum, Kristin Hsu, the current EVPSA, presented a summer agenda that needed to be addressed by the elected EVPSA.

According to Hsu, the UC Regents will decide whether or not to raise tuition over the summer depending on how Governor Jerry Brown’s budget will affect funding for the UC system. In the event that the UC Regents do decide to vote, an EVPSA is needed to lobby against tuition hike.

“Lobby Corps will need to step up and fill in some roles that the EVPSA would normally take charge of. I personally do not believe holding a special election in the fall is an appropriate way of remedying this situation, as some of the most crucial work of the office begins as early as June,” said On-Campus Senator Lea Toubian.

“The consequences in leaving these projects unaddressed is detrimental to the future of UC students. Please note that I said UC students and not UCSB students,” Hsu added.

On the meeting agenda was a bill to update Lobby Corps Legal Code, proposing that in the event of a vacancy in either External Vice President Office by Week 10, the co-directors shall be recommended to assume the duties of the respective External Vice President.

A few senators raised concerns over the specifics of the bill.

“It sounds to me that this is a permanent power the co-directors take away from the EVPSA in the event of an absent EVPSA by week 10,” said Engineering Collegiate Senator Alex Funk.

After much debate, Senate passed a motion to move the bill to an email vote within the next two days.

Senate was also able to approve last week’s old business as well as BCU’s minutes; however, the meeting lasted until 3:30 a.m. due to a stalemate over the appointments of the first and second pro tempore.

Senators Mordi Shadpour and Lea Toubian were approved as first and second pro tempore during the May 23 Senate meeting, going against Internal Vice President Steven Ho’s appointments of Senators Jalia Carleton-Carew and Xochitl Briseno.

Executive Director Marisela Marquez confirmed that Shadpour and Toubian were only appointed as temporary pro tempore. Consequently, Senate voted to impeach both Shadpour and Toubian in order to appoint the official pro tempore.

Nine senators consistently voted in support of IVP Steven Ho’s appointments.

“I believe we should approve the nominations that the IVP has made. He chose them for a reason so people should trust Steven to pick what works best for him and his office,” said Letters and Sciences Collegiate Senator Ricardo Uribe.

The other 13 senators consistently voted in support of Shadpour and Toubian, citing their leadership skills during the May 23 Senate meeting.

The stalemate finally broke when the senators in support of Shadpour and Toubian conceded and allowed for the appointment of Carleton-Carew and Briseno as first and second pro tempore.

“I am extremely unsatisfied with how this situation was handled, and the other senators and I will continue to hold the Internal Vice President to strict standards of non-partisanship. I hope in the time until our next meeting certain senators will learn to be more willing to accept different viewpoints and form compromises,” said Toubian.

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